DENTON (12/19/03) -- Houston broke open a tight game in the final seven minutes and strolled to a 74-62 non-conference win over North Texas in a women's basketball game at the Super Pit on Friday night.
The game was tied at 31-31 at halftime and the Mean Green (3-5) led throughout the first 12 minutes of the second half before the Cougars (6-2) outscored NT by a 22-9 margin over the final 7:33 to cruise to the win.
North Texas, led by Kim Blanton's 13 points as one of three Mean Green players in double figures, didn't help itself by committing 31 turnovers in the game, which tied a season high. Houston also made 15 steals against the Mean Green.
Joining Blanton in double figures for NT were Kelsie Edwards with 12 points off the bench and Jill Medlock with 11 points.
Sancho Lyttle paced the Cougars with 26 points on 12 of 16 shooting. Four Houston players scored in double figures, including Chandi Jones (13), Joan Overstreet (12) and Daphne Andre (10).
There were seven lead changes in the first half before a three-point basket by Edwards with 26 seconds left tied the score at 31-31 at halftime. A basket by Blanton less than a minute into the second half gave North Texas a narrow 35-33 advantage and the Mean Green held onto the lead for the next 11 minutes, building as large as a nine-point edge twice.
But after a Blanton lay-up gave NT a 44-35 lead at 14:43, Houston started to whittle away at the margin. A pair of back-to-back baskets by Lyttle erased a one-point NT lead and gave Houston a 54-53 lead at the 6:56 mark.
That was as close as the Mean Green could get, as Houston connected on 10 of 14 free throws down the stretch to pull away for the final 12-point win.
North Texas returns to action at home on Sunday when the Mean Green will host SMU at the Super Pit at 2:00 p.m.